Røros (town)

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View of the central part of the town
View of the central part of the town
Røros is located in Trøndelag
Location of the town
Røros is located in Norway
Røros (Norway)
Coordinates: 62°34′29″N 11°23′03″E / 62.5747°N 11.3842°E / 62.5747; 11.3842Coordinates: 62°34′29″N 11°23′03″E / 62.5747°N 11.3842°E / 62.5747; 11.3842
RegionCentral Norway
 • Total3.19 km2 (1.23 sq mi)
Elevation620 m (2,030 ft)
 • Total3,865
 • Density1,212/km2 (3,140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Post Code
7374 Røros
Former Municipality:Bergstaden Røros
Municipality IDNO-1640
Created fromRøros in 1926
Merged intoRøros in 1964
Area124 km2 (48 sq mi)[3]
Røros Mining Town and the Circumference
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Roros church.jpg
The old Røros in front of the church
CriteriaCultural: iii, iv, v
Inscription1980 (4th session)
Area16,510 ha
Buffer zone481,240 ha

About this soundRøros  (Southern Sami: Plassje) is the administrative centre of Røros municipality in Trøndelag county, Norway. The town is located along the river Glomma and along the Rørosbanen railway line, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the village of Glåmos and about the same distance north of the village of Os in neighboring Hedmark county. The 3.19-square-kilometre (790-acre) town has a population (2018) of 3,865 and a population density of 1,212 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,140/sq mi).[1]

The mining town of Røros is sometimes called Bergstaden which means "the rock town" due to its historical copper mining. It is one of two towns in Norway that were historically designated as a bergstad or "mining town", along with the "silver-town" of Kongsberg. The bergstad formerly had special rights as a mining town, slightly different from those of other Norwegian towns.[3]

The modern-day inhabitants of Røros still work and live in the characteristic 17th and 18th century buildings which have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Røros has about 80 wooden houses, most of them standing around courtyards. Many retain their dark pitch-log facades, giving the town a medieval appearance. There are also two churches in the town. The large and historic Røros Church and the relatively new, but unique-looking Røros Chapel.[4]


The Røros area has been used by the Southern Sami people for reindeer herding throughout history. The area is well-known for its copper mines, and Røros is one of Norway's two nationally significant mining towns with activity starting in the 17th century (the other one being the "silver-town" Kongsberg, see Kongsberg Silver Mines).

The town of Røros was burned to the ground in 1678 and 1679 by the Swedish Army during the Scanian War. In 1718, during the Great Northern War, the town was once again taken by the Swedish Army, led by General De la Barre, who made up the southern arm of the main Swedish Army under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt. De la Barre took the town and all their mined copper at gunpoint.

When King Carl XII was killed near Fredriksten on 30 November 1718, De la Barre retreated north to join the bulk of the army. However, this ended in tragedy, when over 3,000 rather unprepared soldiers perished in the harsh weather conditions in the mountains northwest of Røros.

Røros and its people were made famous to Norwegians at the turn of the 20th century by semi-fictional author Johan Falkberget, who told the story of the mining community from the perspective of the hard-tested miners at the bottom of the social ladder.

With its authentic wooden buildings, Røros was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1980.[5]

Røros Copper Works[edit]

In 1644, the general manager of the mine at Kongsberg gave permission to exploit one lode of copper in the mountains near Rauhaammaaren. Storvola and Gamle Storwartz became some of the company’s most important mines. Nordgruve, another important mining area, was situated to the north east of the town of Røros.

Starting in 1740 and onwards, there was a period of greatness for the Røros Copper Works with several mines yielding well. Dynamite was utilized from 1870 and later drilling machines. The electrical generating station built high-tension power lines to supply the mines starting in 1897. The Bessemer process was introduced at the end of the 1800s. The Rørosbanen railway line was completed in 1877. High prices for both copper and zinc gave good results, but then the prices dropped and there were several years with large losses. After 333 years, mining activity in Røros ceased in 1977.[6]

Municipal history[edit]

Map of Bergstaden Røros municipality (1926-1964) in Sør-Trøndelag county.

The mining town of Røros was established in 1646 by King Christian IV. It was a part of the prestegjeld of Røros. In 1838, under the formannskapsdistrikt law, the prestegjeld of Røros became a locally governed municipality. Nearly 100 years later, in 1926, the municipality was split up. On 1 January 1926, the town of Røros and its surrounding area, a total of 124 square kilometres (48 sq mi), was established as a separate municipality called Bergstaden Røros (the mining town of Røros). The old municipality of Røros was split into four: Glåmos (population: 983), Brekken (population: 1,098), Røros landsogn (population: 701), and Bergstaden Røros (population: 2,284).

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the four municipalities of Glåmos (population: 700), Brekken (population: 964), Røros landsogn (population: 482), and the mining town, Bergstaden Røros, (population: 3,063) were all reunited under the name Røros.[7][3]


The town is named after the old Røros farm ("Røraas" around 1530), since the town was built on its ground. The first element is the river name Røa and the last element is os meaning "mouth of a river" (the small river Røa runs into the great river Glåma here). The meaning of the river name Røa is unknown.[8] There is no available interpretation of the Southern Sami language name, Plassje.


During winter, a traditional market called "Rørosmartnan" is organized and that draws an average of 60,000–70,000 tourists each year. The market begins on the last Tuesday in February and lasts five days.[9] There is also an outdoor musical theatre performance played in Røros to commemorate the tragedy when the Swedish soldiers froze to death. This show has been played since 1994.[10]

The town of Røros was the filming location for Henrik Ibsen's play "A Doll's House", directed by Joseph Losey.[11]

Media gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2018). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality".
  2. ^ "Røros (Trøndelag)". yr.no. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  3. ^ a b c Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2017-06-17). "Røros – tettsted". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  4. ^ "Røros - the mining town". Hurtigruten.us. Archived from the original on 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
  5. ^ "The People and the Farms". The Røros World Heritage Site.
  6. ^ "The Røros Copper Works". The Røros World Heritage Site.
  7. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  8. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1901). Norske gaardnavne: Søndre Trondhjems amt (in Norwegian) (14 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 199.
  9. ^ "Rørosmartnan". Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  10. ^ "Et historisk musikkteater på Røros" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  11. ^ "A Doll's House IMDB".